The chaos theory of unpredictability is an extension of the well-known Heisenburg
uncertainty principle which states that:
)Mx )x . h
h is Plank's constant. Essentially, this equation implies that either the
momentum of a particle, Mx, can be known with certainty, or its
position, x, can be known with certainty, but not both together. This
uncertainty is inherent in how we measure things, and apparently exists because
every observer tends to influence, to some degree, what is being observed. This
basic principle of uncertainty at the quantum level has been verified many times
in the scientific community. Chaos theory extends this uncertainty principle to
the macroscopic level when we consider complex systems which are sensitive to
initial conditions. In chaos theory, this principle is called Prigogine's
Uncertainty after the 1977 Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, Ilya Prigogine.
Prigogine's principle says that as systems become more complex, a threshold of
complexity will be reached such that the system will begin functioning in
unpredictable directions; such a system will lose its initial conditions and
these can never be reversed or recovered (Briggs & Peat, 1989; Kondepudi
& Prigongine, 1998).
The future of any complex system is unpredictable. All that we can ever
know of the future is in terms of probabilities. The future of any complex
system, and this includes the psyche, can only be known totally (i.e., with
certainty) by its moment-to-moment expression in the present.
Jung (1978) writes, "Between
the conscious and the unconscious there is a kind of "uncertainty
relationship," because the observer is inseparable from the observed and
always disturbs it by the act of observation" (p. 226). Here Jung applies
the Heisenburg uncertainty principle to the psyche.